The following press release has been issued by NCSHP. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol, in conjunction with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, would like to report an arrest in the 16 November 2018 hit-and-run death of Randall “Shorty” Penland of Hiawassee, GA.
Raymond Leo Hohmann III, age 36, of 1334 Old Highway 64 East, Hayesville, NC 28904 was arrested this morning (4/26/2019) and charged with the following offenses:
• Involuntary Manslaughter GS 14-18
• Felony Hit and Run GS 20-166a
• Felony Obstruction GS 14-221.1
Mr. Hohmann was taken before a magistrate where he was placed under a $100,000 Secured Bond and as of the time of this release was still in the custody of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
In the early morning hours of 16 November 2018, Trooper K. D. Hyde of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol was dispatched to US 64 east of Hayesville where the body of Randall “Shorty” Penland had been located. Upon Trooper Hyde’s arrival, he determined that Mr. Penland had been involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, which had left the scene. Deputies and investigators with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office as well as additional Highway Patrol personnel responded to assist and began what would be a five month long investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Penland’s death.
Together, the Highway Patrol and Clay County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive investigation which spanned multiple jurisdictions in two states. The charges brought forward today were the culmination of this investigation and were brought under the advisement of local District Attorney’s Office.
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital names chief financial officer and director of patient safety and quality
Murphy, N.C. – Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (EWCH) has named Matthew Thomas as chief financial officer and Susie Aft, RN, as director of patient safety and quality.
Matthew Thomas recently served as chief financial officer at Merit Health Natchez in Natchez, Miss., where he oversaw the following departments: accounting, information technology, materials management, case management, admitting, business and health information management. There, he also successfully petitioned for the hospital to gain sole community hospital status with Medicare, a designation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Before stepping into the health care sector, Thomas served as senior accountant at one of Tennessee’s largest accounting firms, Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain, P.C. Since then, he has held management and leadership positions at Community Health Systems, Inc., in Franklin, Tenn., and San Angelo Community Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas.
Thomas attended the University of Tennessee Knoxville for both his bachelor of science in business administration and his masters of accountancy.
Susie Aft joins EWCH after serving as chief quality officer at Fannin Regional Hospital in Blue Ridge, Ga. In this position, she was responsible for the quality and patient safety program where she oversaw medical staff services, infection prevention and control and risk management.
With over 15 years of experience in health care, Aft has held clinical and leadership positions at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Murphy Medical Center and MedWest Health System.
Aft received her bachelor of arts from Agnes Scott College, her bachelor of science in nursing from Emory University and her masters of science in nurse administration from Western Carolina University.
“I am pleased to welcome Matthew Thomas and Susie Aft to their new roles,” said EWCH CEO Mark Kimball. “With both having worked in rural hospital settings and their extensive experience in health care management, I believe they are great additions to our team.”
The Tennessee Department of Health is investigating a case of measles after the State Public Health Laboratory confirmed a positive test for the illness in a resident of the East Tennessee.
While the investigation is currently centered in East Tennessee, all Tennesseans should be aware of measles and its symptoms. These symptoms may include fever, runny nose, body aches, watery eyes and white spots in the mouth. The illness is typically accompanied by a red, spotty rash that begins on the face and spreads over the body. Nearly one in three measles patients will develop ear infections, diarrhea or pneumonia. Measles can be fatal in approximately one to two out of every 1,000 cases.
“Our efforts are focused on preventing the spread of illness to others,” said TDH State Epidemiologist Tim Jones, MD. “This appearance of measles is a reminder about the importance of vaccines and how they can particularly protect our most vulnerable, including infants and those with compromised immune systems.”
The measles virus is highly contagious and can stay airborne or live on surfaces for up to two hours. People recently infected with measles may not have any symptoms of illness, but can transmit the virus for about five days before the typical measles rash appears.
“Most people in Tennessee are vaccinated against measles and that’s important, but infants and those with weakened immune systems are still at high risk for infection,” said TDH Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “The measles-mumps-rubella or MMR vaccine is safe and widely available. Call your health care provider to check your immunization status and schedule your vaccine if you haven’t had one.”
All Tennesseans are urged to ensure they are up-to date on MMR vaccine. Anyone who believes they or a loved one has measles symptoms should call first before going to a health care facility to keep others from being exposed.
People with questions about what to do to protect themselves against measles should call a health care provider, the local health department or a hotline established to provide answers to questions from the public about measles. The hotline number is 865-549-5343; calls to the hotline will be answered from 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Central time/8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern time daily until further notice.
Tennessee has had only 15 cases of measles in the last decade due to relatively high vaccination rates. All children should have their first measles vaccinations at age 12-15 months, followed by a second dose at four to six years of age. Teens and adults should check with their doctors to make sure they are protected against measles. Talk with your health care provider about vaccination before leaving for international trips.
For more information about measles, visit www.cdc.gov/features/measles/index.html.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.
The following is an official release from the Town of Murphy Police Department. All suspects are presume innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On April 15th, 2019, at approximately 11:58 am, the Cherokee County 911 Dispatch Center received a call in reference to an unknown problem occurring at the Days Inn, located at 754 Hwy. 64 West here in Murphy. The Telecommunicator was able to determine that a heroin overdose had occurred according to the information given by the reporting party at the time. After arriving on scene, Cherokee County EMS was able to assist in the recovery of the person who had overdosed, Mr. Brian John Majercik.
Upon Patrol Officer Brandon R. Morgan arriving on scene to assist, shortly thereafter joined by Assistant Chief Dustin D. Smith and Patrol Sgt. T. Ryan Cunningham, consent was given by the other party involved, Ms. Leslie Marie Cartwright, for a search of the room and their motor vehicle. During this time a large amount of Methamphetamine and Marijuana was located. Ms. Cartwright was then placed under arrest for her various offenses and their motor vehicle, a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was towed from the area. Mr. Majercik was transported by ambulance to Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital for treatment. However, Mr. Majercik was arrested later the same afternoon at a residence in the Dogwood Estates area after being released from the hospital.
On April 16th, 2019, a search warrant was executed on the defendant's motor vehicle listed above that had been stored at the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. In total, 939 grams of Methamphetamine and 165 grams of Marijuana was seized, as well as other drug related paraphernalia.
Mr. Majercik was charged with the following offenses: Traffic In Methamphetamine (2 Counts), Possess With Intent To Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine, Maintain Place Controlled Substance and Possess With Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Marijuana.
Mr. Majercik is currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center under a $560,000.00 secured bond. He has an initial court date on April 25th, 2019, at 9:00 am.
Ms. Cartwright was charged with the following offenses: Traffic In Methamphetamine (2 Counts), Possess With Intent To Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine, Maintain Place Controlled Substance and Possess With Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Deliver Marijuana.
Ms. Cartwright is currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center under a $560,000.00 secured bond. She has an initial court date on April 25th, 2019, at 9:00 am.
Both Mr. Majercik and Ms. Cartwright gave Murphy, NC, addresses. Their inmate profiles can be found on the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office website under their In Custody link. Due to the pending investigation in this matter, this is all the information that can be released at this time.
"I want to thank all assisting law enforcement officers and commend all of the other public safety agencies involved in this matter. Taking this amount of Methamphetamine off of the streets will have a drastic effect on the current drug problem that we experience here in Cherokee County and surrounding areas. However, it will be short lived."
"We count on the public to report any and all drug related or suspicious activities that they may witness to their local law enforcement agency. Unfortunately, we all have been directly or indirectly touched by someone, whether a family member or friend, experiencing a drug or substance abuse problem. We continually strive to make this a better and safer place to live and work by arresting any and all individuals responsible for this problem."
Justin J. Jacobs
Chief of Police
The following press release has been issued by Town of Murphy Police Department. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On April 2nd, 2019 around 2:00 pm, Cherokee County Dispatch received a 911 call in reference to several male subjects running down Willow Street in Murphy, North Carolina with a firearm. The subjects were screaming at each other to shoot someone. Officers with the Murphy Police Department along with Deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office responded to the area. Officers arrived on scene and learned that a home invasion had just occurred on Sales Street in Murphy, North Carolina. The individuals with the firearm running down Willow Street was identified as the suspects in the home invasion. Due to the location of the incident in relation to the area schools and the suspects fleeing on foot with a firearm, for safety reasons, the local area schools (Murphy Elementary School and The Learning Center) was notified of the situation and decided to place the schools on a code yellow status. Officers began looking for the suspects in the area and arrested one individual after a short foot chase. Several other individuals involved in the home invasion fled the area in a vehicle but was shortly apprehended in Union County, Georgia. During the investigation, Officers learned that six individuals were involved in the incident, three of which were juveniles. The juvenile names cannot be provided in this release.
Jordan Tyree Mackey, DOB: 04/06/2000, B/M, Address:1086 Jones Creek Road, Blairsville, GA was arrested in Murphy, NC and charged with Attempt Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Felony Breaking and Entering, and Conspire to commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. Mackey was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center and was given a $30,000.00 Secured Bond.
Jordan Tyler Patterson, DOB: 04/24/2002, W/M, Address: 82 Murphy Drive, Blairsville GA was arrested in Blairsville, Georgia with pending charges in Georgia and pending charges in North Carolina for this incident for Attempt Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Felony Breaking and Entering, Conspire to Commit Robbery with Dangerous Weapon.
This case is still currently under investigation and further arrest and charges are still possible at this time. If anyone has any information about this incident they are encouraged to contact the Murphy Police Department at 837-2214.
Murphy Police Department thanks everyone involved for a fast and safe resolution in this case.
Murphy, NC- March 27, 2019 - Hanging Dog boat ramp and picnic area on the Tusquitee Ranger District will temporarily close for parking lot improvements on Monday, April 15.
Improvements include paving the lower gravel parking lot. This project is funded by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Work is expected to be completed by May 15, 2019. In addition the U.S. Forest Service recently partnered with the NCWRC to install security lighting at Hanging Dog boat ramp.
The closure will be at the intersection of Ramsey Bluff road and Hanging Dog campground. Alternative boat access to Hiwassee Lake is available at Ramsey Bluff boat ramp which is located within Hanging Dog Recreation Area.